Dec 18

HTRC Road Race Training Ride #11

The eleventh end-of-season HTRC training ride took place on Saturday 14th December with seven riders in attendance…


I was a little worried beforehand, as I had three people inform me they weren’t able to attend, so I half expected to have maybe just two or three riders, so seven was a welcome surprise.


We had myself, the club’s president Paul Kilvington, Neil Dean, Mike McAllister, Matthew Johnson, Richard Guymer and Phil from Hull and East Riding club (apologies for calling you Bill in the last report).


Check out the photos (2) of the day via our Flickr account, courtesy of Mike McAllister


Before we set off Mike took to his routine and got the pre ride photos in. He also brought a smile to the group when he dished out chocolates to us all. Not sure if he’d robbed a sweet shop on the way to Skidby, or had been given an early Christmas present?


Our ride eventually got underway under sunny skies once again. I must say we have been lucky weather-wise for our Saturday rides as I can only think of two sessions were we have had a true soaking.


After leaving Skidby we headed for Newbald via Little Weighton. The pace was pretty quick, as always, down Newbald Hill with the 30mph warning sign flashing as we entered the village – I got up to 35 mph and was one of the slowest, so not sure what the others got up to. Once through Newbald, next on our route was Sancton where the roads were half dug up due to roadworks. Fortunately we weren’t on that road for too long before we took a left and headed towards North Cliffe.


The roads suddenly became very damp and despite all of us having mudguards, it was inevitable we were still going to get caked in mud. So by the time we reached Holme on Spalding we weren’t looking very presentable to say the least. Not one for complaining (too much) I was keen on forgetting about our looks and getting the group to enhance their group skills by working on through and off between Harswell and Hayton, especially after neglecting this part of the ride the previous week. I must admit I thought the distance between Harswell and Hayton wasn’t as far as it turned out to be, so we pretty much made up for last week.


The wind at this point was becoming an increasingly strong southerly wind. So as we were heading north it was no surprise that our speed was pretty quick. Sometimes the quicker you go the harder it is to work well together as a group, as you’re so focused on hunting the wheel in front which can lead to large gaps appearing to the riders behind all of which prevents the group riding smoothly. However despite hitting 25mph in places we kept together nicely and once we were in full swing I had that lovely feeling of almost gliding through turns.


Once we hit Hayton we knocked it off keen not to overdo things. It was also the last of any real flat road we’d encounter between here and the finish of the ride, as the Wolds loomed large in front of us. We weren’t quite mad enough to attempt Nunburnholme, but the rise in gradient nevertheless had an effect on the legs for some.


Phil and Mike on the other hand were in fine form. They used the descent from Londesborough as a launch pad to attack the climb up towards Market Weighton. Mike’s legs looked like they couldn’t go any faster as he seemed to be using a very small gear, which was in comparison to Phil who was using a slightly bigger gear to great effect. Phil hasn’t got the lightest of builds so he must have a lot of power in the legs to go so fast as he eventually cracked Mike. Just before the roundabout at Market Weighton it was my turn to get out the camera but on this occasion I took a video rather than a photo. With Mike been the clubs ‘official’ photographer I didn’t want to tread on his toes you see, so I thought a video would be best. I guess this makes me the ‘official’ cameraman?


After Market Weighton we headed back East up the lovely climb through Goodmanham which passes some very nice houses and a scenic looking church. I think the scenery was the last thing Matthew was thinking of at this point though, as a bug he’d picked up midweek was catching up with him. He did well to stay in contact to the summit of the climb out of Goodmanham. Unfortunately for Matthew though, we were now heading south which meant a strong headwind.



Mark Walker – “It’s for the website.”


Kiplingcoates valley offered us some respite from the wind but the roads in the valley also got a lot muckier. I was following Mike, who’s rear mudguard seemed to be ever so slightly out of place. This meant the poor bugger following him (me of course) was getting a soaking. My jacket went from black & white to a spotty brown design by the time we started the climb out of the valley. Matthew was dangling off the back again at this point but Mike, ever the gent, went back to lend him a hand. The rest of us also waited for them both just before Etton once having realised they weren’t with us.


After a helping hand from Mike (quite literally as he pushed Matthew along in places) Matthew eventually turned off once we reached Cherry Burton. The poor guy wasn’t allowed to leave right away though, as Mike was determined to get a photo of him before we left. All this meant we were suddenly quite far behind the rest of the group. As we were leaving Cherry Burton we could see the rest of them right in the distance. So this meant me and Mike had to embark on a short 2up time trial to catch them. We eventually did by the A1079 junction at Bishop Burton but my legs certainly felt the effort.


From Bishop Burton we took a rather relaxing ride home via the usual route of Walkington and the cycle path on towards Skidby. I don’t want to say too much, but I think this was the third ride going without anyone getting a puncture, which wasn’t bad considering all the filthy roads we’ve ridden on lately.


For my rider of the day, I’m going to go with the clubs president Paul, for two reasons really. One being for his technique when it comes to riding through and off. Paul’s always had great technique when coming through to do his turn at the head of a group. He manages to keep really tight when going through which allows him to use as much of a slipstream as possible thus saving energy. I was trying to copy him but I just couldn’t get close enough to the rider in front to make the same gains. Reason number two was his perseverance on the hills. Pauls build means gravity isn’t his best friend but he stuck to the task and stayed with us throughout the ride when he could have easily headed the direct route home from Market Weighton.


For next week (which may be the last or not if Mike get’s his wish) I’m tempted to implement one of the exercises I’ve got planned for the summer months into a steady ride out into the country, if people fancy it. May mean a bit of a faster pace at points though but you can always use it as an excuse for stuffing yourself with food come Christmas.


Mark Walker
HTRC RR Secretary